Slate is happy to provide a whole collection of tweets capturing just how badly people were upset by last night’s episode.
So this may be a good time to link to Matt Zoller Seitz, in NYMag, defending the series and telling snobs to “Look Past the Dragons“:
… Nearly a decade after Peter Jackson won Oscars for a film series about wizards and hobbits, fantasy is still seen as disreputable nerd bait rather than a legitimate mainstream genre. That should change this year, and if it doesn’t, fans can cry foul. Thrones was always solid and sometimes awesome, but its third season represents a giant leap forward in ambition and execution…
Its achievements are all the more remarkable when you consider the degree of difficulty involved. Thrones is one of the most expensive series in TV history. And it’s based on books with a large, loyal following; it has to split the difference between honoring the text while making it accessible to a wide audience and reserving the right to change things for sophistication’s sake. It does all this while following dozens of major characters, highborn and lowborn, through plots and counterplots, alliances and betrayals, attacks and retreats, still managing to communicate every character’s eccentricity and humanity and never devolving into a three-dimensional flowchart with actors.
It does all these things without breaking a sweat, and its mastery of classical visual storytelling is the wellspring of its strength. Thrones’ filmmaking is direct and clean, balancing efficiency and beauty, but every now and then it throws in a dazzling visual flourish: a majestically slow pan following a crack as it spreads across the icy Wall, unleashing an avalanche; a Gone With the Wind–style pullback that frames lovers Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) against a verdant valley; a tormented prisoner’s castration obscured by a sudden loss of screen focus that turns the frame into a collage of pulsing, bruiselike splotches; the cut-to-black that ends “Walk of Punishment,” a shot lopped off as brutally as the sword hand of Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau); an overhead shot of a young dragon flambéing the man who stupidly thought that he owned it like a pet…..